Avoid These 5 Ways You Can Damage Your Smile

Friday, September 23rd, 2011, 2:00 pm

It turns out that some of the things we do every day are causing damage to our teeth. Here are a few that you might not be aware of:

  1. Using sports drinks to re-charge after a workout. Sports drinks have become extremely popular but they aren’t great for your teeth. The drinks are typically full of sugars which act as food for oral bacteria. On top of that, the pH levels in many of these drinks can cause your tooth enamel to wear away. The combination leaves you with teeth that are open to decay and a well-fed army of bacteria ready to go to work on them!
  2. Drinking wine. Even though we have been told that a glass a day is good for your heart, it isn’t so good for your pearly whites. This goes beyond the issues of stains from red wine. It seems that the acidity in wine, both white and red, can also erode your tooth enamel. To avoid this don’t swish the wine around in your mouth — take small sips and rinse your mouth with water after drinking.
  3. Going on a diet. Losing a few pounds is good for your health, going on a very restrictive diet might deprive you of  vitamins and minerals you need for your healthy smile. Poor nutrition can also affect your immune system leaving you susceptible to infections such as periodontal disease. Proper nutrition and exercise are the keys to losing weight, crash diets are never the answer.
  4. Drinking bottled water. Bottled water typically does not contain fluoride like many municipal water systems do. Fluoride is controversial for some but it has been safely added to water supplies for many years and has drastically cut the rate of cavities in children and adults in this country. This substance helps remineralize the teeth making them stronger and resistant to decay.
  5. Adding lemon or lime to your water. Many trendy diet books suggest adding a squeeze of lemon juice to your water to promote weight loss. It really just makes the water taste a little better so you’ll drink more of it. While drinking lots of water is fine, the added acids from the citrus juice are bathing your teeth and weakening your dental enamel all day long. Keep drinking water, just make it plain tap water.

So what can you do to protect your teeth if you don’t want to give up your glass of wine or sports drinks? Most people think they should brush their teeth immediately – DON”T! Your enamel has been softened by the acids and scrubbing at it with a brush will only make matters worse. Rinse your mouth with plain water or better yet, chew a piece of sugar-free gum. The xylitol found in sugar-free gum actually inhibits oral bacteria and increases your saliva flow which will begin to remineralize your teeth. Follow up with a good brushing and flossing about an hour later.

If your habits have left you with a smile that is not as healthy and bright as it once was you have many options for restoring your smile. Cosmetic dentistry can reshape, rebuild and restore your naturally beautiful smile. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center, your Toccoa GA full-service dental office at 706-886-9439 to schedule your consultation.

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